Net neutrality is a big deal right now. As we wrap up 2017, here’s a take on one of the biggest changes in the industry. Is repealing net neutrality good or bad for cyber security? Decide here!
Net neutrality. Everybody is talking about it. I’m sure that you’ve had a friend or two take a stand against it on Facebook, I have definitely seen my share of posts on the subject. For those who don’t know, the net neutrality issue is all about a recent vote by the FCC that repealed previous legislation which had prevented ISPs from throttling or filtering traffic to their users. Now, it’s repealed, and the ISPs are going to revert back to their old ways, for good or bad.
Most people are unhappy about net neutrality because it allows the big ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, etc) to have a lot of sway as far as what content reaches consumers first, and faster. There are a lot of arguments for and against net neutrality, and if you are interested in learning more about the topic, you definitely should consider it.
What does the repealing of net neutrality have to do with cyber security? Is it a good or a bad thing? Well, there are two sides to every argument, and there isn’t a consensus in the industry. Here are some arguments for both sides. You be the judge!
Net Neutrality is Good for Cyber Security
Support for net neutrality is all about transparency and equality for web content. Without it, it could make it a lot harder for security researchers and companies to investigate cyber breaches. If networks are already filtered by the ISP, it will make it difficult for anyone other than the ISP to truly investigate or prevent cyber attacks.
“Less transparency on how traffic is managed at the network level might provide a benefit to bad actors because they thrive where there is less transparency,” said Harley Geiger, director of public policy at Rapid7. “It will be more difficult to protect against bad behavior through traffic patterns when those traffic patterns” are accompanied by “some opaque system,” Geiger said.
Net Neutrality is Bad for Cyber Security
Support against net neutrality stands behind other speculations that the repealing might actually be helpful for cyber security. Since net neutrality meant any and all internet traffic and content was treated the same, repealing that means that potential threats and known cyber criminals could be targeted, and throttled, or blocked completely.
“This expert’s advice about the best ways to mitigate a cyber attack such as a DDoS attack is to throttle, block, and potentially prioritize traffic for a specific reason, all forbidden by the previous FCC chairman,” wrote Shane Tews of the American Enterprise Institute.
Whether you want the decision on net neutrality to remain as it now stands, or for the equality of web traffic to return is up to you. But cyber security is going to be affected, for good or for bad. It’s not clear who or what will be affected most, but it is clear that the industry is going to change in a big way in the upcoming year. Look for updates right here on the Fibernet Cyber Security blog!